A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


Around the World in 80 stitches – part 13

I’m not sure how I feel about this section. I like most of the individual stitches in it but I don’t know if I like how it hangs together as a whole. Hopefully it’ll grow on me.

There were some interesting stitches in it. A couple of them had alternatives as they were apparently difficult. They were both ones that I’d done recently in Song of The Weather though so I didn’t have a problem with them. They were a bit fiddly, but then that just makes them interesting.

I’ve started to look forward to getting more and more new, interesting and hopefully difficult stitches to do. I fear I may be turning into a stitchy adrenaline junkie, if there is such a thing.

This is what the new section looks like.


One of the stitches for which a substitute was given was the flower made up of three stitches. The Satin Leaf stitch and Padded Satin stitch are simple enough but the Detached Buttonhole stitch was trickier and was the one substituted. I’d only just done that on July’s Song of The Weather though so it was fresh in my mind and although it was a bit more fiddly on this, being smaller, I’m pleased with how it turned out.


The other difficult one was the Porto Rico Rose. It consists of Lazy Daisy stitch, which I may be a bit bored of now but don’t  have a problem with, and Bullion Knots, which I’m ok with. I did them a month or two ago on Song of the Weather and more recently on The Flower Sampler book so although they may not look perfect, they are reasonable. I think it’s fair to say that I had plenty of practise at them on this piece.


This stitch is just a bit of backstitch with Lazy Daisys and Ray stitch but I think it looks pretty. I did have a mishap though. I’ve just been looking through the instruction sheets to check the names of the stitches before typing and noticed that there’s a diagram for Stem stitch. That’s odd because I didn’t do any Stem stitch. Having checked the chart, the green bits on this stitch should have been done in that and not Backstitch. Ooops. It looks fine though. I’m not going to change it.


I quite liked the effect of this next stitch and I love its name. It’s Maniototo and was a fun one to do, even if it did have yet more Lazy daisys in it. (sorry it’s a bit blurry)


Finally we have Pistil stitch. I couldn’t quite figure this one out from the instructions. You know how sometimes you stare at something and it just doesn’t make sense? In the end I Googled it and found a great YouTube video that showed it being done perfectly. It’s just a long stitch with a French Knot on the end. Simple really, but it looks great. I really like this stitch.


Now I have a few days free before going back to week one of my rotation so I’m at a bit of a loose end. I’m very tempted to start a new project but then again, I would quite like to do some more to Tree of Stitches. Or maybe some crochet…



Around the World in 80 stitches – part 11

After what seemed like a huge break we finally got part 11 of this. I’ve had it sitting on my To Do pile for a couple of weeks while I caught up with Song of the Weather but at last I’ve got it done. It only took a couple of evenings as it’s just a small section this time.

There were some stitches that I hadn’t done before and a couple of familiar ones.


As usual, I’ve taken some close-ups.

11VictoriaStitchThat one is Victoria stitch. It consists of 6 steps and uses four colours. I rather enjoyed doing it.

11VaultStitchVault stitch. Very simple and to be honest,  I can’t really see why it’s got its own name instead of being a Rhodes variation. Nice to stitch – very easy.

11JapaneseStitchJapanese stitch, which consists of just Satin stitch really. I do like the effect you get doing it in that gorgeous blue variegated thread though. Then there’s the rather uneven Lazy Daisies in the metallic. I’d be quite happy if I never saw another Lazy Daisy.

11JapaneseDarningJapanese Darning. Two steps, two colours. Easy peasy. I like the little Rhodes Berries perched on the top.

11ClosedFlyStitchClosed Fly stitch. I’ve either done this one before, or a very similar variation. I like it. It’s easy to do and looks interesting.

I thought it was about time to show another photo of the whole thing. It’s growing quite nicely now. I can see what the shape of the next three parts will be and then I can’t wait to see what we’re doing in the corners. I’m starting to wonder if there will be a border all the way around.

AtW110513Onto Around the World in 80 days next and I hope to finish it off.

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Around the World – part seven

I finished another section of this at the weekend while I was watching Strictly Come Dancing. I’ve never watched it before, but seem to have got slightly addicted to it this time around. Bizarre, as I know nothing about dancing. Good for stitching to though.

The finished bit.

07Completed151212It’s a big one, eh? Lots of stitches too, so plenty of photos coming up. Once I’d got the outside cross stitch and the medium green backstitched vine done,  I did the centre. I was itching to do that as I’m loving using the thicker threads.

It uses four stitches. In the centre is a large Pulled Square Eyelet. Working out from that there is some Satin Stitch. Around that is Whipped Backstitch, which I loved doing. It looks so much nicer than plain backstitch. Then around the edges is Petite four-sided stitch. Here’s a close up of just one side of it so you can see the stitches better.


Once I’d finished the centre, I tackled the other two green stitches. Then came the pretty bits.I didn’t want to do the colours as randomly as in the design, especially looking at how I’d done them in the other four-petalled shape at the top of the piece, so I’ve done them a bit more, umm logically. Two of the petals are pinks with some blues, and the other two are blues with some pinks. That way the petals mirror each other.

This is a close up of the blue petal, with pink highlights.

07BluePetalAll the close-ups of the individual stitches are from the pink petals so you can see the differences. The large stitch in the centre of each petal is a Maltese Cross. It’s done in two parts. First the base is stitched with some threads going under others and then another thread is woven around it. It was easy to do and I think it looks really pretty, especially as the base is done in the metallic.

07MalteseCrossIn the points of the petals are some Lazy Daisy stitches but the new stitches to me are the green ones which the blue Petite Rays are fanned out from. They got a bit distorted once the Rays were stitched but they still look effective. They’re Turkish three-sided triangular stitches.

07PetiteRayStitchThe other green stitch is a Fly stitch and it’s used to support the Queen stitch. I made a mistake and did the first Queen stitch in two strands and thought it looked too bulky. On checking the instructions, I realised why. It should be done in one strand. It looked much better once I changed it.

07QueenStitchSeveral new stitches in there for me, as well as some that I’ve done before. I rather enjoyed doing this part and it didn’t take as much time as I thought it would. Part nine should be released any day now but I’m going to do the final Cottage before I do part eight and get completely caught up. I made a start on the Cottage last night. Just a few stitches, but it is a start. I’m going to enjoy this last one. It really is a lovely design.



Around the world – part six

Part six is finished! I said that wouldn’t take long. I quite enjoyed this with its lack of back stitch. I took the time to give the whole thing a quick press as I had the iron out for something else, so I’ve taken a photo of it while it doesn’t look too creased.

Growing nicely, isn’t it. This is a closer look at part six. It’s not very big but there are still several different stitches in there, some of which I’ve done before on The Great Escape.

06Completed031212I think my favourite stitch was the large Rhodes Square with the Modified Kloster Blocks around it. There are some metallic cross stitches to either side and there will be beads in there too once I put those in at the end. I love the jewel-like effect of the square.

06RhodesSquareThere were some more Kloster Blocks around the Pulled Square Eyelets. I like doing the Kloster blocks. Being in the chunky thread, they stitch up nice and quickly and there’s virtually no counting. Easy peasy. The pink stitches are Smyrna cross stitches. Also easy.

06PulledSquareEyeletI’m blaming the distinct lack of natural light at 3pm today for some of the photos not being as sharp as they could be. I take the photos on my desk by a large window and usually don’t  have a problem. Today, it was just a bit too dark. Winter, eh.
There were a couple of stitches done in green. I rather liked these Fishbone leaf stitches.

06FishboneLeafThey took a bit of concentration but weren’t difficult. The dark blue blob is a Rhodes Berry stitch. The other green stitch is Open Cretan stitch and this nearly drove me nuts. I couldn’t figure out where to start it from the diagram and chart. In the end I just dived in and hoped it worked out in the right place. Luckily it did.

06OpenCretanstitchThe pink is a Star stitch, and the small blue blob is a Partial Rhodes stitch. Apart from the problem of finding where to start off the Cretan stitch, the only other one to give me any problems was the Butterfly Eyelet stitch. Again, I just couldn’t figure out where to start it off. I was turning the charts around to try to line them up with the way the butterfly was sitting as it just wouldn’t make sense but suddenly it clicked and then it was easy enough.

06ButterflyEyeletStill no sign of December’s cottage being available for order so on with part seven.